I'm heading off to Italy to spend a week in the Veneto. I will do my best to post a bit from the road, but if I don't, it's because I'm too busy cooking, eating, drinking, walking, or napping. I've also got one night in Venice. Any/all suggestions welcome. Ciao!!
I had a much better time at Tales this time around. I'd say that part of it was that I knew what to expect, part of it was that I had fewer obligations, and part of it was that I skipped a lot of things on my tentative schedule, focused on the things I wanted to do and the people I wanted to see, and generally just rolled with it. This mentality started when my direct flight out of NYC got cancelled and I ended up taking a three-leg trip just to make sure I escaped the vicious weather that was predicted for much of the East Coast. That bit of ridiculousness paid off, and I made it to NOLA well before my luggage did -- it was on the flight on which I was originally rescheduled. I landed and went straight to Coop's, where festivities were already in progress.
- I ignored my own advice and went out one steamy night without my trusty water bottle. That night, I was dying for water, and it was hard to come by. Until I found some, I made do with a glass of ice-cold champagne.
- Sometimes, a frozen Irish coffee from Erin Rose totally hits the spot.
- Always keep an open mind at Tales -- take advantage of a last-minute invite, taste something new, and be welcoming to strangers. You'll have a much better time that way.
- Chicken tastes even better when it's hand-fed to you by the farmer who raised it.
- If there is a zombie apocalypse and/or a drought, you want @rockdoggydog to be your roommate; he'll make sure all the supplies are covered.
- I didn't hang out much at the Old Absinthe House this year, and I didn't really miss it. I also went to bed pretty early my last night after a lovely dinner and a few drinks, which made for a much more pleasant re-entry to NYC.
Given the size of the bag I'm packing for Tales of the Cocktail, I'm starting to wonder which requires more gear (and more stamina): Tales or the NYC Triathlon? I am going to give the carry-on-only thing one last try (with a spare bag for carrying home swag), but odds are slim. I'm usually very careful about never checking bags; the last time I had used my enormous suitcase was -- you guessed it -- my last trip to Tales. This picture is from the trip home. Maybe I'll ship some stuff . . .
Already planning/plotting out my NOLA eats, and I can't wait to see so many good friends down there!!
The next question is, of course: which requires the longer recovery time?
In a few hours I'll be flying off to France to meet my Dad, stepmother, brother, sister and brother-in-law for a walking trip in the Dordogne. I've been in this region before and am looking forward to the gorgeous countryside, amazing wine, and foie gras galore (sorry, California, try not to be jealous). Will try to post updates along the way. Au revoir!
Off to DC this morning for 2 1/2 days of the Pro Bono Institute Annual Conference, where I get to spend time and share knowledge with some of the best people I know. See you there, pro bono peeps! And never fear -- making time for food and drink too. Just have to figure out when I can sleep and go to the gym . . .
It makes my heart hurt to leave my Moxie for the weekend, even though I'll be in sunny, warm Mexico and she'll be in @jeneanchapman's capable and loving care at my place. Reach out to her if you want to give the Mox some extra love while I'm gone!
I was going to wait to post my Thailand photos until they were all neatly labeled and tagged. Then I realized this was not going to happen for several months, if ever. So, ladies and gents, here are all of my Thailand pictures, only moderately edited and barely tagged, for your enjoyment. The Buddha pictured above is "my" birthday Buddha -- I was born on a Saturday -- from Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.
I've posted my photos, but haven't yet labeled anything and am still editing. I promise to share when I'm done. Some of my favorite pics (not surprisingly) are from the market in Chiang Mai. I swear I could have stayed there all day, snapping photos and tasting the wares.